Plagues of the Mind - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Plagues of the Mind

The New Epidemic of False Knowledge

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A stirring and sobering diagnosis of the challenges that confront anyone laboring to renew America&rquo;s tradition of ordered liberty.

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A stirring and sobering diagnosis of the challenges that confront anyone laboring to renew America&rquo;s tradition of ordered liberty. Classicist Bruce Thornton’s Plagues of the Mind is a forceful vindication of the West&rquo;s tradition of rational, critical inquiry—a legacy now largely jettisoned in favor of a host of new deities: environmentalism, feminism, primitivism, New Age, and the cult of the therapeutic, among them.

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“Thornton does not mince words and he is not taking any intellectual prisoners. It is impossible to read this book without getting angry at some point, probably at Thornton himself, though he wouldn’t care, and would even be pleased if it spurred the reader on to research the issue for himself. Thornton’s arguments are bold and frustrating and yet enticing for readers who like to challenge the popular mindset. For ultimately what Thornton is attempting to do is shake us out of our intellectual complacency.”


“Thornton’s exposition is complex, yet as he draws the thoughts and interpretations of an impressive array of social critics into his grand intellectual-historical argument, his prose never becomes obscure, though Al Gore, Vine Deloria, Carol Christ, and other targets of his criticism have reason to wish it had.”


“Thornton outlines in vigorous, highly entertaining detail how a number of pseudoscientific hoaxes—including the supposed prevalence of goddess-worship in prehistoric Europe—have become important factors in intellectual life, despite having their origins more in wish-fulfillment than genuine scholarship.”

National Review

“[A] collection consisting of cogent remarks and prescient essays.”

The Bookwatch

Plagues of the Mind is a worthwhile book that warns of a spreading disease that medical science cannot treat—the inability to think clearly.”

Ideas on Liberty

“Thornton’s critique will not convince those who cannot be convinced, but for fair-minded historically rooted people, this volume is a much-needed antidote to the foolishness that reigns in most of our universities. Plagues, we must remember, are not to be taken lightly; they are deadly dangerous. This one is too.”

Calvin Theological Journal

“Thornton presents a very thought-provoking book. . . . The depth and breadth of his arguments provide much fodder for serious reflection on the current state of many of our society’s viewpoints and behaviors.”

The Tampa Tribune Times

Plagues of the Mind is a much needed antidote to the kind of intellectual cancers that contaminate so much of the discourse and assumptions rampant in the general populace today.”

Wisconsin Bookwatch

“Thornton’s lessons provide readers with the principles of critical thinking and research that enable them to approach a new subject well equipped to weight the options and adopt genuine knowledge instead of false knowledge.”

Christian Research Journal

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